1. Vain man has measured land and sea,
Fathomed the depths of states and kings,
O’er earth and heav’n explored his way:
Yet there are two vast spacious things,
To measure which doth more behove,
Yet few that sound them—sin and love.
2. Who would know sin, let him repair
To Calvary: there shall he see
A man so pained, that all his hair,
His skin, His garments bloody be!
Sin is that rack, which forces pain
To hunt its food through every vein.
3. Wouldst thou know love? behold the God,
The Man, who for thy ransom died:
Go taste the sacred fount that flowed
Fast-streaming from His wounded side!
Love is that liquor most divine,
God feels as blood, but I as wine.
Herbert, George, M.A., the fifth son of Richard Herbert and Magdalen, the daughter of Sir Richard Newport, was born at his father's seat, Montgomery Castle, April 3, 1593. He was educated at Westminster School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1611. On March 15, 1615, he became Major Fellow of the College, M.A. the same year, and in 1619 Orator for the University. Favoured by James I., intimate with Lord Bacon, Bishop Andrewes, and other men of influence, and encouraged in other ways, his hopes of Court preferment were somewhat bright until they were dispelled by the deaths of the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hamilton, and then of King James himself. Retiring into Kent, he formed the resolution of taking Holy Orders… Go to person page >
Display Title: The AgonyFirst Line: Vain man has measured land and seaTune Title: ADORO TEAuthor: George Herbert, 1593-1632Meter: 88.88.88Source: Hymns and Sacred Poems, by Charles Wesley, 1739, page 27